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Lessons in the Law

by Xie Ding, translated by Natascha Bruce

Confucius had three thousand disciples, seventy-two of them truly masterful scholars. Zhao claimed the same was true of his classes: 2.4 percent were masterful scholars. 'They came to class with fire in their eyes,' he said. 'You could tell from a face, just from the expression – that one was going to get it. And from then on, that was the one you were teaching to.'

In fall 2003, around midday every Wednesday, I used to bike from the Wan L...

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Jia Pingwa fever and The Earthen Gate

By Dylan Levi King, June 11, '19

Digging into Paper Republic's archives, there's plenty of discussion of Jia Pingwa—when is he going to make it into translation? What the hell is going on?

Since 2016, five of Jia's novels have been translated, we might see two more before the end of the year, and at least three more are on the way.

The crop of Jia Pingwa books in translation have mostly been harvested from the author’s more recent works, but The Earthen Gate 土门, is the book that returned Jia to grace after the dark days that followed the ban of Ruined City 废都 in the early-1990s.

I’ve always thought that Ruined City and the three books that followed—White Nights 白夜, The Earthen Gate, and Old Gao Village 高老庄—were Jia’s best, so it’s nice to see that two have finally made it into English. The University of Oklahoma Press put out Howard Goldblatt’s translation of Ruined City in 2016, and Valley Press commissioned Hu Zongfeng 胡宗锋 of Northwest University 西北大学 to translate The Earthen Gate.

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Untranslated: Pang Bei's Unicorn

By Dylan Levi King, May 3, '19

I've got a Twitter timeline full of 5G hysteria, Huawei backdoors, GitHub protests against the tech sector practice of 996 working hours (9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week), the UAE running a drone war in Libya with Chinese tech, a Chinese developer getting nabbed for leaking a wildcard SSL key, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States pressuring the Kunlun Group to sell Grindr, etc. etc. etc.—the world runs on but seems deeply anxious about Chinese tech.

That makes Pang Bei's Unicorn, a cautionary fable set in the present day Shenzhen tech world, very timely.

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Entering Qin: a few days with Jia Pingwa in Shaanxi

By Dylan Levi King, April 19, '19

This is the record of a few days spent with Jia Pingwa and Nicky Harman in Xi'an and environs, as we prepare a translation of Jia's Qinqiang for AmazonCrossing.

I’d already spent the last several days with Jia Pingwa, hanging out in Xi’an and going down to the countryside, but, sitting at a table with the author one night at in Sichuan restaurant off the Second Ring Road in Xi’an, I was dying to do what I’m sure many people have already done: tell him how I first came to read Ruined City.

I think I wanted his approval, to prove to him that I was connected to his works or that I could understand it and that I was the right person to translate it, even if that decision was no longer in his hands.

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China Dispatches: the best creative non-fiction available now

By Nicky Harman, March 13, '19

Paper Republic, One-Way Street Magazine and the LA Review of Books’ China Channel publish new essay by Chinese writer Liang Hong, translated by Michael Day.

Paper Republic is delighted to announce the publication of a new creative non-fiction essay. This marks the launch of a second series of Read Paper Republic: China Dispatches, a unique three-way collaboration between Paper Republic, One-Way Street Magazine (单读) and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ China Channel. The series focuses on translating the best non-fiction coming from China right now – and making it available online, completely free to read.

The first instalment – “A Fortune-teller in a Modern Metropolis” by Liang Hong – is translated by Michael Day. The essay tells the story of Xian Yi, a man in an old profession that is curiously out of step with modern China.

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The Wandering Earth: A Reading Round-Up

By David Haysom, February 15, '19

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Since its release on the first day of the Lunar New Year, The Wandering Earth (流浪地球) – 郭帆 Frant Guo’s adapatation of the Liu Cixin novella (translated into English by Holger Nahm) – has been setting box-office records, upending expectations of what a Spring Festival blockbuster can be, and apparently even inspiring a Durex ad:

Here’s a round-up of some of the responses.

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Chinarrative newsletter - In-depth storytelling from and about China.

By Nicky Harman, January 27, '19

For interested readers, here's an online newsletter, launched May 2018 and now twice-monthly. They feature Chinese longform in translation and also some original English submissions by Chinese authors. The founder and publisher is Colum Murphy, a veteran Asia-based journalist, and Min Lee is the current editor and lead translator. They would love to hear from the translation community, be it comments, suggestions or story ideas.

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Bridge Translations: Giving Credit where Credit is Due

By Bruce Humes, January 21, '19

China-based publishers are notorious for a misleading practice: the nationality of the author — not necessarily the language of the source text — is often noted on the spine or copyright page. Thus the reader may well believe she is reading a novel translated direct from the Swahili, when the source text is actually the English rendition of a Swahili original...

If you're interested in reading and/or adding to several comments on this topic, please click:

http://bruce-humes.com/archives/12862

And see the comments immediately below the article itself.

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The Chilli Bean Paste Clan in London

By Nicky Harman, January 17, '19

The Guanghwa Bookshop (Shaftesbury Avenue, London) was packed for our "[Un]Happy Family" event with Yan Ge and translator Nicky Harman last night. We talked about Yan Ge's novel The Chilli Bean Paste Clan (in Chinese《我们家》), its complicated characters, and what was in Yan Ge's mind when she created her middle-aged male [anti]hero, when she herself was in her mid-twenties. And we talked about the challenges of translating colourful Pixian Town obscenities into English, a language where swearing is kind of pale by comparison...and much much more. Thank you all for coming!

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